For East Suffolk Council 'enabling' is not a political philosophy or set of legislative rights. It is about embedding a culture and approach to working with local people to deliver more with our communities by helping them to do things for themselves rather than doing things ‘to’ or ‘for’ them.
This section of the website sets out how we will support local communities to do things for themselves and to have greater influence and control over their local community and the things that happen there.
This approach is central to delivering the East Suffolk Strategic Plan, which includes four ‘Enabling Communities’ objectives:
Our Enabling Communities Strategy sets out our vision for East Suffolk communities, including how we define ‘communities’. It explains what we mean by an ‘asset-based’ approach that builds on what is strong and not what is wrong. It outlines our 12 step Enabling Communities model and some tools and sources of advice and support to help communities to apply the model. The final section explains exactly what we are doing to deliver the four Strategic Plan priorities above.
East Suffolk ‘communities’ are defined by a number of different factors:
We believe that the best way to empower communities to make the area where they live or work into the place they want it to be is by asking them what they want to do and helping them to achieve it. This requires ongoing dialogue that suits the skills, needs and aspirations of each place at different points in time.
Each of our 55 district councillors has a crucial role as a community leader in identifying, engaging, inspiring and working with local representatives, community activists, community groups and businesses – basically, the 'movers and shakers' in each community. They are central to creating a 'bottom up' approach to helping communities to apply the East Suffolk Enabling Communities model.
Councillors act as a catalyst for local delivery, identifying and building networks and acting as community ambassadors, engaging in and facilitating productive discussions and troubleshooting to overcome blockages that prevent progress.
Our eight Communities Officers support the ward councillors in each of our eight Community Partnership areas by providing specialist advice and guidance about ‘localism’ tools and opportunities.
They are supported by other staff within the council and in partner organisations such as the County Council, Suffolk Police, health organisations, the voluntary and community sector and businesses. These staff include specialists in areas such as economic development, education, planning, highways, housing, coast and flood management, resort or countryside management, volunteering, community buildings, funding and governance.
Together we will support each community to identify their ambitions and the assets that they can build upon to achieve these ambitions to ensure that their community is resilient – strong and quick to recover when things go wrong.